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Feb-16-2010 17:49printcomments

Senate Bill Will Reduce Risks of Radon Exposure for Oregon Homebuyers

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.

Radon in Oregon
Counties in yellow have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L.

(SALEM, Ore.) - Legislation that will help reduce the risk of radon exposure for homebuyers passed in the Senate this morning. Senate Bill 1025 requires both radon-resistant construction standards for new homes and public buildings in areas with higher radon levels and notification for all homebuyers about the serious health risks associated with radon.

“Radon is a silent killer,” said Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and chief sponsor of the bill.

“Safe construction standards and testing are the only ways Oregonians can be confident that their homes are safe. This bill will help save lives by increasing awareness about the widespread risks of radon.”

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 1 in 15 homes have an elevated level of radon. Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is known to be carcinogenic, responsible for approximately 22,000 lung cancer deaths a year.

It occurs naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks, and water, which then moves up through the soil and into the air inside homes and other buildings.

“This legislation will help give Oregonians peace of mind about the safety of their new home,” said Senator Mark Hass, a member of the Senate Environment Committee (D-Beaverton).

“Radon can seep in through cracks in the foundation, ventilation systems, windows, or light fixtures. The construction standards in SB 1025 will reduce the risk that this radioactive gas gets into homes and public buildings.”

Under SB 1025, Oregon will join eight other states that require some kind of notification to homebuyers about radon’s hazards and four states that require radon-resistant construction methods in areas that are designated as having a high potential for elevated levels of radon. The bill will now go to the House for consideration.

Source: Oregon Legislature

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.